Launch From India: US May Abandon Policies That Shield Space Start-ups From Competition
Launch From India: US May Abandon Policies That Shield Space Start-ups From CompetitionISRO’s PSLV launch station in Sriharikota. Photo credit: ISRO

India has been seeking a greater share of the commercial satellite launch market in recent years, thanks to its recent successes - and the world is taking note.

This comes after Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), through its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), successfully put 20 satellites in the orbit through a single rocket, in a display of its technological capabilities as the country promotes its space programme to woo international customers frustrated by a global backlog.

The US, which had imposed restrictions on satellite manufacturers from hiring India's space agency to launch their equipment, is also witnessing a change of heart. Under pressure from satellite operators and manufacturers, US trade officials began reviewing the decade-old policy.

While India's emerging space industry may not pose a serious challenge to Silicon Valley rocket companies, it is offering services at a fraction of cost compared to its European counterparts.

One of the most important achievements of PSLV was that it was designed to carry satellites for monitoring agriculture and water resources, among other things. It is now a dominant force in this segment, which has seen a major backlog over the past few years because of high costs.

Although the US has handed out occasional waivers from the moratorium, and a European government consortium now offering small satellite launch vehicle, for a hefty fee, India's far cheaper and more reliable option remains off the table, a Bloomberg article said.

Since this ban is hurting American firms, it is time the US should realise that civilian space cooperation would benefit the economies of both the countries.

Read more here: Why America Needs India's Rockets

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